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boys competitions



ISFA runs boys’ knock-out cup competitions at U18, U15 and U13 levels.

The main Cup competitions are ISFA’s prime Level 1 competitions at each age level and all schools are welcome and encouraged to enter.


There are also further additional tournaments at each age level to cater for differing ability levels:

  • the ISFA Trophy (Level 2)

  • the ISFA Shield (level 3)

  • the ISFA Bowl (level 4). 


This concept is similar to The FA’s competition structure – The FA Cup, the FA Trophy and The FA Vase. The aim is to provide balanced, competitive football at different levels.

At each age group:

  • The top 6 ranked schools are guaranteed exemption until the Third Round of the Cup. However, these schools are not eligible to enter any of the additional tournaments.

  • The schools ranked 7-20 are guaranteed exemption until the Second Round of the Cup. However, these schools are also ineligible for any of the additional tournaments.

  • Schools ranked outside the top 20 are eligible to enter either (a) the Cup alone; (b) the Cup and an additional tournament; or (c) an additional tournament alone.

  • The deadline for playing First Round matches in the additional tournaments will not be until November in order to leave time for those entering two tournaments to play the early rounds of the Cup.

  • When all entries have been received (1st May), the 32 best ranked teams (outside the top 20) that have entered an additional tournament are placed in the ISFA Trophy.

  • The next ranked teams (minimum 32) that have entered an additional tournament are placed in the ISFA Shield.

  • All remaining teams that have entered an additional tournament are placed in the ISFA Bowl, assuming that there are sufficient entries.

  • The number of teams in the Shield and Bowl tournaments will be determined by the total number of schools wishing to enter the various tournaments


These are determined by each school’s performance in ISFA competitions over the previous 5 seasons (2020-21 excluded due to covid-19). In exceptional circumstances, ISFA reserves the right to alter the rankings in the interests of competitive balance (eg if a school has an artificially low ranking due to non-participation).


Entries for boys' knock-out competitions open on 1st March and close on 1st May each year.  The Draws for these competitions are made in mid-May in order to all time in June for opening fixtures to be arranged for September.


With the exception of the Boodles ISFA Cup, the Draws are all conducted on a regional basis as far as is possible. However, schools are asked to accept that, in a national tournament, some longer distance travel may be required, particularly in order to accommodate schools in the geographical extremes of the country.

The Boodles ISFA Cup wis drawn on a regional basis for the first two rounds but is not regionalised from the Third Round (last 32) onwards.


ISFA also organises the Football Escapes U11 Sevens tournament and the inspiresport ISFA U18 Sixes tournament

Many other competitions are also organised by groups of schools themselves.  Further information can be found under ISFA Approved Competitions.

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